Staff, faculty, and students from the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana spent a Saturday morning in March volunteering their time at the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Community Harvest Food Bank. About 15 Ross staff members and students headed out on their day off to serve those in need at the mission. They enjoyed a day of handing out food to the local community in need, as well as stocking shelves in the food pantry. The Community Harvest distributes about 10 million meals annually.
The Community Cupboard, a service hosted by the food bank, allows referred patrons to shop for everything their family needs. Beyond what is typically found at a food bank, this service also includes fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, canned food, cereal, spices, flour, sugar, dairy products, cleaning supplies, paper goods, personal hygiene products, vitamins, and more. For some perspective, one hundred pounds roughly equals a heaping grocery cart full of food. So families can shop for the things they need and like, all while being supported.
According to their website, the Community Harvest Food Bank began in 1983. They were formed to respond to the great need in the community after the International Harvester was closed down. This closure caused many to find themselves unemployed and in need. Now, after more than 30 years, the Community Harvest Food Bank has grown and is a member of the Feeding America network. They are able to make a huge impact as they distribute almost 13 million pounds of food each year to nearly 100,000 people in northeast Indiana. They also work hard to partner with and support almost 400 homeless shelters, soup kitchens, youth programs, and food pantries. Mission also has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a national organization that rates charities. They place high importance on nonprofit organizations with responsible financial practices and transparent reporting.
The campus was thrilled to have the chance to work with such an incredible and well-respected organization. They also were moved by the opportunity to help and serve members of their community that are in need. “It felt really good to be with students who were willing to give up their Saturday to give back,” shared Aurelia Andrus, current student in the Fort Wayne Medical Assistant program. “The Harvest does a really awesome job of giving back to the community and providing for those in need.” The Ross Fort Wayne campus plans to continue their relationship in the future, looking for chances to work together to wipe out hunger in their community.